According to a report out this morning from consultant Wood Mackenzie the price of Brent crude at around $50 a barrel has left about 30% of fields in the North Sea, one of the highest-cost regions, operating at a loss. Compounded by the uncertainty surrounding the political outlook caused by Brexit, more producers are looking to plug wells. Projected spending on decommissioning has jumped 16% since Oil and Gas UK produced their ten year forecast in 2014 rising to a cost of £16.9 billion for producers in the area.
According to BP Plc, oil production in the region was just 965,000 barrels a day (bpd) last year down from 2.9 million bpd in 1999. About a third of operating platforms are older than their original design life and the costs of upgrades are just too much with oil at today’s pricing. Shell for instance is producing from just one of the four platforms in the Brent field, where the name of North Sea production derived its name.
According to sources a full shutdown removes about 100,000 tons of metal from each platform but still potentially leaves concrete columns half the size of the Eiffel tower jutting from the water. Oil and Gas companies are expected to invest 40% less this year than in 2014 in production and refitting, by the end of the year an estimated 120,000 jobs will have been lost due to the downturn, according to Oil and Gas UK.
Elsewhere, in Europe, according to the OECD, Maltese workers get the most time off when you combine vacation days and national holidays with about 37 days per year. In the European Union the legal requirement is actually 20 days holiday per annum while in the United States there is no statutory time off for workers and therefore comes bottom of the OECD list. Mexico and Turkey also have low statutory holidays while in Germany the difference between states in national holidays ranges from 9 to 13 days so be careful when taking a job in some German states as you may be worse off than you think.
Well have a good evening from the Stratton Street Maltese office, see you in a week or two, Ha Ha.